Last night the Fort Wayne Mad Ants beat the Sioux Falls Skyforce 111-103. The home crowd at the Memorial Coliseum was happy for their team. I was happy to be able to see Chris Kramer and Keaton Grant playing basketball again. Earlier this season in Houston I thought that I had seen them both play for the last time. I was wrong. Keaton Grant signed to play with the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the NBA’s developmental league. Chris Kramer signed to play with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in the same league. This was the second game of the regular season, and the second time that the two former Boilers have faced each other this season. Both times Kramers team has come out on top.
I don’t know if this is a bad omen, but during bucket week when I go to a game to see two former Boilers play it can’t be good that a former Hoosier steals the show. Roderick Wilmont was on fire last night scoring 29 points. Wilmont had 19 of his points at the half. He really was not taking good shots for the most part, but they were going in. I have never seen a three point shooter fall away from the basket as much as Wilmont. If it works you have to stick with it though.
The people in Fort Wayne do a good job of getting you psyched up for the game. They have some nice intros with the lights off, and all the right music to get you ready to go. The only problem last night though was that they could not get the lights back on. The game was delayed for a few minutes while they sorted out whatever was wrong with the lights. Eventually enough light was on the court that they started the game. It was a little while into the game that the lights seemed to be at full effect.
Chris Kramer started the game off well. He took a charge on the opening possession, and then scored the first points of the game at the other end. That would be his last points in the first quarter though. Keaton Grant came off the bench to try and shut down Wilmont. He did do a pretty good job against Rod when he was on him. He also scored two points in the first quarter on an alley oop that he layed in. That came just after a badly missed three pointer so it was nice that he got on the board. In the second quarter Keaton nailed a three that put his team ahead in the second quarter. He had a rough shooting night, but when that one went in I wanted to yell “Bullseye!” I realized that maybe I should not be yelling for the away team though. Kramer then took the ball right to the hoop on the next possession and made a floater to tie it up. I thought it was great that the Boilers scored on back to back possessions. The first half ended with the score 62-60 Skyforce. Grant had five points, and Kramer had four.
Just like the first half Kramer started with Grant sitting on the bench. They both played sizable minutes in the second half. I would guess that it was for their defense. Grant slowed down Wilmont quite a bit. Kramer ended up with two points in the final two quarters, and Grant had one point when he split a pair of free throws. For the game they ended up with six points a piece. Kramer played 32:36 minutes scoring six, grabbing 4 rebounds, dishing out two assists, taking two charges, and was credited with one steal. He did get his hand on a couple other balls that were picked up by others though. That is nothing new to Chris. Keaton played 22:31 minutes scoring six with five rebounds, one assist, and one steal. Both players played defense very well though. Grant was +11 when he was on the floor, and Kramer was +8 when he was on the floor. As you can see the teams were better when both of these guys were on the floor. Of course those of us who watch Purdue basketball already knew that. I loved seeing both of these guys play again. The Mad Ants play a short season, but I may have to make the trek to Fort Wayne one more time before it is all over.